Pipe and Fittings Inspection and Testing Methods

Plumbing and piping is a very important part of our life. We do not acknowledge that but in reality, it is very important. You might understand this fact if your water distribution line starts leaking and you have to be without water for a couple of hours. To maintain the uninterrupted and leakage free distribution, often times reducers are used to maintain the water pressure of the channel. However, bad quality reducer can be the reason for failure. Though the rate of steel pipe reducer failure is far lower compared to PVC pipes and fittings. In this article, we shall try to introduce some pipe and fittings testing methods that are commonly used by professionals.

Hydrotest

Hydrotest is not a mandatory test but if you the purchaser want then the plumber needs to perform this test. This test pushes high-pressure water and proves the capability of the line against high pressure.

Proof Test

This is a test that is done in the factory of the manufacturer. In this method, the burst test is done to check if the fittings are capable of withstanding the pressure. A dummy pipe is attached to the system which is called a spool. Now the spool is pressurized into a certain point and if the system withstands the pressure then it is capable of handling the pressure.

Non-Destructive Testing

Non-destructive testing is done to check all the pipes and fittings to check if it is made with perfection. In this method, different processes are used to check the things. Ultrasonic, Magnetic Particle Test, Radiography, Liquid Penetration Test etc. are performed as per the manufacturer policy and piping standards.

Destructive Testing

Destructive testing is done to check the capability of the product. It is usually done to a random sample from a batch. The sample is taken and then put on the extreme point of pressure where the pipe and fittings should be pushed to the limit. If the thing passes the destructive test the batch is considered passed. If it fails the batch is a failure.

Metallurgical Test

This is a test that is done usually on the fittings body or weld to know if the standard has been maintained properly or not. The tests might include raw material testing, products testing, weld testing etc. Usually, metallurgical tests are performed in a lab environment.

Special Test

Special tests can be of different kinds. These tests are carried out on the pipes and fittings to confirm if the things can withstand in corrosive environments. The most common corrosive tests are:

• IGC-Intergranular Corrosion Test
• Ferrite
• HIC-Hydrogen Induced Cracking
• SSC-Sulfide Stress Corrosion Cracking

Visual Inspection

This is a very common test performed by the plumbers. You can do this test on your own too. Checking for any kind of damage, dents, leakage, cut marks etc. are considered as visual inspection test. Any kind of imperfection that is visible on bare eyes should be noticeable with visual inspection.

These are some common tests performed by manufacturers and plumbers to check the quality of pipes and fittings.

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